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Variety's Awards Circuit is home to the official predictions for the upcoming Oscars from Film Awards Editor Clayton Davis. Following Academy Awards history, buzz, news, reviews and sources, the Oscar predictions are updated regularly with the current year's contenders in all categories. Variety's Awards Circuit Prediction schedule consists of four phases, running all year long: Draft, Pre-Season, Regular Season and Post Season. Eligibility calendar and dates of awards will determine how long each phase lasts and will be displayed next to revision date.

To see all the latest predictions, of all the categories, in one place, visit THE COLLECTIVE.

2021 OSCARS PREDICTIONS:
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

UPDATED: Oct. 22, 2020 (PRE-SEASON)

There’s a lot of “newer” blood in the category this year as Joshua James Richards’ work in “Nomadland” is simply astounding and could be something to easily latch onto in the awards sphere while Erik Messerschmidt will take his portrayal of classic Hollywood to the Netflix streams. Both could start to pull away in this race between watch out for masters like Dariusz Wolski to shake things up.

† = no release date scheduled / could be delayed / may not be eligible
†† = could be campaigned in lead or supporting categories / original or adapted screenplay categories


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COURTESY OF SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES

AND THE PREDICTED NOMINEES ARE:

  1. "Nomadland" (Searchlight Pictures)
    Joshua James Richards (director of photography)

  2. "Mank" (Netflix)
    Erik Messerschmidt (director of photography)

  3. "News of the World" (Universal Pictures)
    Dariusz Wolski (director of photography)

  4. "The Trial of the Chicago 7" (Netflix)
    Phedon Papamichael (director of photography)

  5. "One Night in Miami" (Amazon Studios)
    Tami Reiker (director of photography)

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Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.

NEXT IN LINE CONTENDERS:

  1. "Da 5 Bloods" (Netflix)
    Newton Thomas Sigel (director of photography)

  2. "Tenet" (Warner Bros.)
    Hoyte van Hoytema (director of photography)

  3. "Minari" (A24)†
    Lachlan Milne (director of photography)

  4. "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" (Netflix)
    Tobias A. Schliessler (director of photography)

  5. "Judas and the Black Messiah" (Warner Bros.)†
    Sean Bobbitt (director of photography)

Nine Days

TOP-TIER AWARDS CONTENDERS:

  1. "The Father" (Sony Pictures Classics)
    Ben Smithard (director of photography)

  2. "The Prom" (Netflix)
    Matthew Libatique (director of photography)

  3. "I'm Thinking of Ending Things" (Netflix)
    Łukasz Żal (director of photography)

  4. "Promising Young Woman" (Focus Features)†
    Benjamin Kračun (director of photography)

  5. "Emma." (Focus Features)
    Christopher Blauvelt (director of photography)

  6. "The Midnight Sky" (Netflix)†
    Martin Ruhe (director of photography)

  7. "Ammonite" (Neon)
    Stéphane Fontaine (director of photography)

  8. "Nine Days" (Sony Pictures Classics)
    Wyatt Garfield (director of photography)

  9. "The Personal History of David Copperfield" (Searchlight Pictures)
    Zak Nicholson (director of photography)

  10. "The United States vs. Billie Holiday" (Paramount Pictures)
    Andrew Dunn (director of photography)

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AIMEE SPINKS/NETFLIX

ALSO IN CONTENTION:

  1. "Greyhound" (Apple TV Plus)
    Shelly Johnson (director of photography)

  2. "The White Tiger" (Netflix)†
    Paolo Carnera (director of photography)

  3. "Death on the Nile" (20th Century Studios)
    Haris Zambarloukos (director of photography)

  4. "Antlers" (Searchlight Pictures)
    Florian Hoffmeister (director of photography)

  5. "First Cow" (A24)
    Christopher Blauvelt (director of photography)

  6. "The Old Guard" (Netflix)
    Tami Reiker (director of photography)

  7. "The Outpost" (Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment)
    Lorenzo Senatore (director of photography)

  8. "Radioactive" (Amazon Studios)
    Anthony Dod Mantle (director of photography)

  9. "Hillbilly Elegy" (Netflix)†
    Maryse Alberti (director of photography)

  10. "Mulan" (Walt Disney Pictures)
    Mandy Walker (director of photography)

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Photo credit: Mary Cybulski / Un

UNRANKED AWARDS CONTENDERS:

  • "Cherry" (Apple TV Plus) – Newton Thomas Sigel (director of photography)†
  • "French Exit" (Sony Pictures Classics) – Tobias Datum (director of photography)
  • "I'm Your Woman" (Amazon Studios) – Bryce Fortner (director of photography)†
  • "The Invisible Man" (Universal Pictures) – Stefan Duscio (director of photography)
  • "The King of Staten Island" (Universal Pictures) – Robert Elswit (director of photography)
  • "Let Them All Talk" (HBO Max) – Steven Soderbergh (director of photography)†
  • "On the Rocks" (A24/Apple TV Plus) – Phillippe Le Sourd (director of photography)
  • "Palm Springs" (Hulu/Neon) – Quyen Tran (director of photography)
  • "Sound of Metal" (Amazon Studios) – Daniël Bouqet (director of photography)
  • "Wendy" (Searchlight Pictures) – Sturla Brandth Grøvlen (director of photography)

† = no release date scheduled / could be delayed / may not be eligible
†† = could be campaigned in lead or supporting categories / original or adapted screenplay categories

The Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars is Hollywood’s most prestigious artistic award in the film industry. The DPs of the industry is one of the most exciting for young film enthusiasts to learn from and about. Charles Lang and Leon Shamroy have the 18 nominations each but its the former that has 4 trophies, a record he shares Joseph Ruttenberg. The late and great George J. Folsey left the Earth without a win in-hand over 13 nominations.

Academy Awards Predictions (All Categories)